Gianna Amatucci, Nick Mulvey, Caitlin Welsh, & Cayleigh Shufelt (Stonehill College, BIO 323 Evolution, Fall 2019)
residing in the tropics of South America, guppies are small and colorful
freshwater fish. They are omnivorous animals, primarily consuming algae and
brine shrimp. Unfortunately, guppies are preyed upon by a number of larger
creatures, including birds, larger fish and mammals. While constantly having to
avoid such predators, guppies are always in search of a suitable mate to spread
their gene pools to future offspring. Alberto Corral-López and colleagues
studied how predation pressure, in addition to cognitive ability and brain
size, affected sexual behavior and sexual selection in guppies. The actions of
both large-brained and small-brained female and male guppies were observed by
Corral-López in order to study this phenomenon.
by: Michael Calcagno, Meghan Ghazal, Lizzie Poyant & Zarir Sidhwa (Stonehill College Evolution Fall 2017)
In Savannah sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis) that reside on Kent Island, New Brunswick, Canada an understanding of divorce rates within the species was analyzed to determine the molecular basis of the phenotypic trait. As well as, to determine if divorce is an adaptive strategy for greater fitness for females. In this species, approximately 47% of pairs in which both partners survived to the following breeding season ended in divorce. Neither the lifetime number of divorces nor whether an individual had ever divorced affected the fitness of either sex, thus suggesting little to no sexual selection for the trait. Divorce in the Savannah sparrows appeared to be an inheritable behavior in which expression depending primarily upon an individual’s age, mating status, sex, and size.
Dad’s social status effects offspring personality in zebrafish
By: Colleen O’Donnell, Lauren Smith, and Courtney Walsh (Stonehill College Evolution Fall 2017)
Ever wonder if fish have personality? If fish have a social hierarchy?
Well, news flash, they do! Dr. Susanne Zajitschek had the opportunity to study Zebrafish, otherwise known as Dario reno, and manipulate their social hierarchy in order to determine whether or not this would affect the offspring of the Zebrafish. She focused on the paternal aspect of rearing offspring. Dr. Zajitshek combined this manipulation with the genetic onset of personality traits of the fathers. As a result of her research, she was able to find that both social status and personality traits do in fact affect the behavior of the offspring.